We can expect a little dead time now, but it’s only five weeks until camp starts, and seven weeks until the first preseason game. A great deal remains to be done by the start of the season. You know that Schneider and Carroll consider cut dates around the league as another free-agency period, so there may be some roster tweaking before the first game.
But as it stands now, what are your main areas of concern? The start of another season breeds optimism, of course. That seems warranted in Seattle, and we’ve discussed a number of reasons for it recently.
A list of my questions needing resolution, though, would include:
–Quarterback. Easy one there. The three-person rotation must at least be pared to two quickly. That should be fairly easy if it’s Flynn and Jackson as prime contenders, both being veterans (although Flynn only has two starts). But if Wilson is really in the race, he definitely needs to see a lot of action in preseason games to acclimate himself to the NFL.
–Sidney Rice’s health. If Rice holds up and can return to form, the Hawks have a legit No. 1 receiving threat and that makes everybody else better. There’s a lot of promise in the rest of the guys, but Rice is the one who demands defensive focus.
–Chris Clemons. He’s under contract, and I can’t imagine him just throwing away a year by not showing up at all. If he doesn’t get the deal he wants, I’m not sure that would affect him the way it might some other players … because he seems disgruntled pretty much all the time anyway. He plays as if he’s angry all the time, anyway; that might be what puts the edge in his game. This might make him better than ever.
–Safety depth. They’ve got the best young tandem in the league at starters. But then? Supposedly they’re very keen on rookie Winston Guy, but he’s been wearing a red jersey as he recovers from a shoulder injury. His reputation is as a versatile type … the kind Carroll likes to find ways to exploit.
–The young linebackers. K.J. Wright played like a veteran late in his rookie season, but it’s fair to remember he’s still in just his second year. Rookie Bobby Wagner looks to have the lead at middle linebacker, while fellow rookie Korey Toomer made a number of noticeable plays during OTAs, as well. Vet Leroy Hill looks fit and sound, but the rest of them still need to ripen into an effective unit.